How to Book a Book Signing

When you first talk to the Customer Relations Manager—or any manager at a Barnes and Noble location—the most important thing is to be polite and straightforward. Tell them right away that your purpose is to schedule a signing event and that you particularly like their location. Always keep your ISBN (International Standard Book Number) handy because they will ask for it.

If you’ve never done a signing before, play up the fact that you’re trying to get out there and that you believe you can perform well in their store. Keep in mind that several stores may turn you down quickly, especially the large ones. This isn’t a bad thing at all. Don’t take it personally if they tell you no; it’s just business.

If you have done even one signing, play that up. I was lucky enough to get into the B-Fest Teen Fest for Barnes and Noble recently, and just mentioning that one signing opened more doors. It makes other stores want to work with you and be more open to having you there. Let them know how many copies you sold at the other locations—they’re going to ask anyway, so offer it up before they do—because it shows your dedication and marketing ability.

My biggest tip is this: get active on social media. Create compelling, original content, acquire a decent following, and keep sharing your information. When you approach stores, they’ll want to hear about how active you are on social media. Mention that you have a growing fan base and that you’ll be more than happy to tag their business in the posts about your signing. This is a HUGE opportunity on their end, as well. It is free advertisement for everyone involved.

Pay attention to what day and time you are booking. Saturdays are optimal. However, Friday evenings are also good, and mid-day Sundays can be fruitful. For your first few signings, aim for stores that are inside a mall, not a shopping center. It’s easy for stores to get random foot traffic in a mall because everyone likes to window shop. These locations are also more populous, with far more foot traffic than a store in the middle of nowhere. Make a point to ask what the peak hours are so you know when you’ll want to schedule your signing.

Good luck, and be confident! Confidence opens more doors than you can imagine!